Bashakill jumping again!

This morning I got a late start. By the time I had checked Morningside and had gotten to the Bashakill, it had gotten quiet.  A number of people told me it had been pretty good early on, but had dropped off the last hour. Everyone had told me the Deli Fields were dead, so I initially didn’t go there.  After checking just about everywhere else, I figured what the heck, maybe some stuff had come in.  I had an abundance of birds as soon as I arrived.  More than thirty each of Goldfinches and Waxwings as well as lots of sparrows.  The sparrows were all Song and Field, but this is the only spot I’ve really been seeing any lately. As I walked back toward the entrance to the fields I immediately noticed some warbler activity. I got on a small group feeding in the Goldenrod along the hedge row.  Two TENNESSEE WARBLERS, one NASHVILLE, one MAGOLIA and several Common Yellowthroats!  Nice!  I followed the group around and they eventually worked their way into the woods on both sides of the access road. This spot was really jumping.  First I spotted four immature INDIGO BUNTING. Cardinals and Catbirds and a few more yellowthroats were seen. I got on a group of warblers that all three turned out to be Tennessee Warblers when I noticed a fourth bird skulking near the ground. My first though was that it would be a Common Yellowthroat, but it was larger and had a different stance.  It disappeared for a moment or two and then popped up. I was sure It was a CONNECTICUT WARBLER! Of course it dropped down and I couldn’t locate it for about twenty minutes. Just as I was going to give up, it popped up again and this time I was certain! I called Scott Baldinger who came right over. As we searched the dense vegetation, many of the birds worked their way around the edge of the field on the left. We followed.  As we watched, one Nashville Warbler after another emerged. All in slightly different plumage. Jeesh, could I have mistaken a Nashville for a Connecticut? My confidence isn’t great lately and I wondered out loud to Scott. We finally gave up and went back to the spot I had originally seen the bird and sure enough, there it was! This time we both had pretty good looks before it dropped again and now Scott was certain I had been right all along. It took a while to relocate, but eventually it came up and this time there was no question. A first winter bird, larger than the now nearby Common Yellowthroats and Nashvilles. Bold white eye ring, large bill, dull green overall with yellow-green underparts with long wings and vent giving it a short-tailed appearance.  The close comparison with two species with which it could be confused really helped clarify the ID as well. We saw the bird a number of times over the next couple of hours, but its keeping to the dense undergrowth prevented any success with photos.  Quite a few others came in the afternoon to try to see the bird, but only had a brief glimpse.  As consolation, we had a PHILADELPHIA VIREO, more Wilson’s (three in total) more TENNESSEE (four in total) and another Nashville. A pretty exciting morning!

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